May 2018 Ipsy Bag

Ipsy is a monthly makeup subscription that I stupidly bought an entire year of up front. I have not been enjoying it.

IT’S MY PENULTIMATE BAG. I’m almost free!
This month’s theme is Go There. I kind of like the idea of a travel bag covered in passport stamps. I might keep this one.

Not that I’ve done anything with the old bags. What would I do with them? I only leave the house so often. Someone please come take them from me.

What’s in my bag
May 2018 ipsy bag and contents. The bag is a light yellow with an orange-y red passport stamp pattern.

BRIOGEO HAIR CARE Rosarco Milk™ Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray
I’ve been wanting leave in conditioner and have held off on buying some because I knew that this was coming. Hair products from ipsy have worked decently in the past. A shocker, I know. You can only mess up so much by putting oil in frizzy hair.

Purchase or pass: Preemptively going to pass. I’m not crazy about the smell. It’s not going to last long, either. My hair is too thick for the formula.

CLINIQUE Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator
I cashed in points for this, so I have no complaints about the fact that I got it. I’ve been wanting to see how my skin reacts to squalane. Any benefits are going to be attributed to that.

Purchase or pass: It’s a $40 lotion. It’s a $40 lotion that doesn’t seem particularly hydrating. I shouldn’t want to layer my CeraVe over a $40 lotion.

Swatch time? Swatch time. This one is without flash:

Swatches on my arm with no flash. You can't see the tarte cosmetics finishing powder.

This one is with:

Swatches on my arm with no flash. You CAN see the tarte cosmetics finishing powder. They insist there's no flashback, but okay.

TOUCH IN SOL Style Sepia Gel-Liner in Jardin
Image of the touch in sol style sepia eyeliner. It's a sample size, but otherwise looks normal.

I’m only a little disappointed it’s not made from cuttlefish ink. I’d love to have makeup made of cuttlefish rage.

Top view of the touch in sol eye liner. Upon further inspection, the sample appears to be a tiny cone of eye liner sitting on a big stick rather than a true pencil.

Wait a second.
This whole pencil is plastic. Do I sharpen the plastic? Did they make an entire plastic stick to just put a little cone of eyeliner at the top? I can’t get anything to twist. Are they this stingy? I think they’re this stingy.

Purchase or pass: Pass. It’s got polyethylene as an ingredient. Polyethylene was banned as a microbead, but cosmetic companies are still allowed to use it more dispersed. Our Earth Day kick is in full swing at grumpyskin. Not sorry.

OFRA COSMETICS Liquid Lipstick in ipsy Unzipped
I was pretty okay with not getting this lipstick back in February. I’m not feeling AT ALL like ipsy realized they had a case of these left over and didn’t know what to do with them, so they tossed them to some of us three months later. That was sarcasm. Offer it as a bonus instead of an actual item, jfc ipsy.

Having said that, the color is more berry than nude. I don’t hate it.
Lip swatch of the ofra lipstick in unzipped. Nothing weird here. It's a "nude berry" color.

Purchase or pass: We’ll see how it wears.

TARTE COSMETICS Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder
I’m sick of getting tarte items. I think this is my third one. Their blush is nice, but their bronzer breaks me out. We’ll see how my skin reacts to this.

Swatching it wasn’t a good experience, though. I HATED how the swatch felt. I have to work up to covering my face in it. Do you know how two layers of tissue paper feel when they slip up against each other? That’s what my skin felt like.

Purchase or pass: Pass.

I’m only going to call them out for using talc here because they make a point of saying that there are no parabens so “it’s good for you”. Do you guys think tarte sources their talc from distributors that test for asbestos or nah? I emailed them to ask, but for some reason cosmetics companies don’t like answering my emails. #nevergonnabesponsored

My dream cosmetics company would tell you exactly where every ingredient comes from and post their quality and safety testing data. Let me know if they ever exist.

BEAUTE BASICS Eyeshadow in Satin Taupe
A perfectly acceptable shimmery brown eyeshadow. The eyeliner is in this image, too.
My closed eyes wearing the eye shadow and eyeliner. Both have a subtle shimmer to them.

But in the interest of dragging ipsy:
The beaute basics palette arrived shattered. Bummer.

Purchase or pass: Pass.Their website is so bad that I don’t think I’d be emotionally capable of giving them money.

What do you guys think ipsy will sent me for my last month? I’m thinking a plastic set of pastel themed makeup that are all cracked, a sheet mask that accidentally lights on fire, and a final eff you black felt eyeliner.


 

April 2018 Ipsy Bag

The situation: You give ipsy $10 a month. Ipsy sends you a “curated” bag of makeup samples. Mostly I hate it.

This month’s theme is “social butterfly”. They’re mocking me. I like going to bed early and reading books. I refuse to go to an event if there are more than three people there. Show of hands, how many times have you personally asked me to go to something and I’ve told you that I don’t want to? They even sent a little card with this bag telling me to say yes to everything this month.

No.

What’s in my bag
Picture of my April 2018 ipsy bag and contents. Baker (my cat) came over to nuzzle things because he can't stand not being the center of attention. This month's bag is white and covered in pink/purple butterflies with pink foil corners.

Baker would not let me take a fancy flat lay picture.

Swatches without flash (left) and with flash (right):

PRETTY WOMAN Nail Polish in Girl Boss
We’re going to ignore that lavender nail polish tends to look weird with my skin and go straight to the formula. I swatched this without a base or top coat to get a look at the color. This is the fastest drying nail polish that I’ve ever seen in my life. I actually watched the solvent evaporate.

The first coat was pretty weird and patchy. It looks kind of like a golf ball. There are dents everywhere from how quickly it dried.
Pretty Woman nail polish in Girl Boss on my thumb nail. It's a very light lavender color.

I thought for sure the second coat would be even weirder, but it mostly evened out.

Purchase or pass: Other than the color, it’s pretty nice. I might consider another one of their colors after my next big nail polish purge.

TRIFLE COSMETICS Sugar Bunny Lip Scrub

Image of the Trifle Cosmetics Sugar Bunny lip scrub container. It's white, with a mosaic of white bunnies in black dresses.Some of the Trifle Cosmetics lip scrub on my index finger. It's light green and grainy.

Oh hey, a full sized product! That’s awesome because I’d never spend $18 on a sugar scrub. It smells exactly like watermelon Jolly Ranchers. It does not taste like watermelon Jolly Ranchers. I checked.

Purchase or pass: Pass. It works well, but I could dump some sugar in literally any lip balm and it would do the same thing for less than $18. However, I’m eyeing their Lip Parfait in Summer Cone. It’s the same price, but you don’t immediately wipe it off.

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Soft Matte Lip Cream in Milan
Have you ever wanted to coat your lips in silicone face primer? Because that’s the exact texture of this lip cream. Applying it was an experience. Once you get it down into a thin layer it’s okay. Getting to that thin layer is the issue. Just check out that chunk!
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Milan on my lips. I've got a chunk on my cupids bow from the applicator not holding product well.
It’s so thick and clumpy on the applicator. I’m not sure if my tube has started to dry out or if the texture is just terrible. Once it mostly dries you can’t tell that you’re wearing anything.
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Milan on my lips. I've cleaned up the chunky bit and it looks nice.
Purchase or pass: I’m torn. I think it’s a pass based on the trauma of the application.

DELECTABLE BY CAKE BEAUTY Ultra Nourishing Hand Cream in Sweet Mint
It’s a hand cream that smells like mint chocolate chip ice cream. I was going to fuss at it for being expensive, but it’s actually not. It’s just a solid hand cream that smells a little bit too much like dessert. Seriously, my hands are making me hungry.

Purchase or pass: I found a $15 off affiliate link (you get $15, I get $15). They’ve got a box set of half sized hand creams for $9 and I want it.

NOMAD COSMETICS Illuminating Highlighter in Midnight Sun
Nomad Cosmetics Illuminating Highlighter in Midnight Sun. It's a tiny little pan.

I’m cranky about how tiny this highlighter is. It came in a little carboard box that I had to rip in half because physics didn’t intend for packaging that small to be able to open.

Having said that, this highlighter packs a pretty hard punch. It’s a nice champagne color without looking yellow. I’m not a fan of the mica concentration, but I’ve started to feel that all powder highlights are too much light straight glitter for me.

Purchase or pass: Their website auto-plays music. Hard pass. (I also couldn’t find this product on their website, but mostly the auto-play is a sin.)

Wow, I think that everything in this month’s bag was usable! It must be because I finally cancelled my subscription. But never fear, I’m getting bags until June and picking a new subscription for July.

I don’t learn from my mistakes.

BLAQ Meteor Shower

Picture of meteor shower by blaq sample from the February 2018 ipsy bag. My cat makes an appearance in the bottom, out of focus.Picture of meteor shower by blaq sample from the February 2018 ipsy bag. My cat makes an appearance in the bottom, out of focus.

Ooh, boy. (And hi Baker!) Remember in February when I said that this was the most distressing thing that ipsy had sent me?

I like outer space. A lot. I’ve cried in the DC museum twice. I can name whoever is speaking on NASA TV at pretty much any time. I’ve been caught timing my runs so that I can stop and wave at the ISS as it passes overhead.

I don’t like that I can be given a one time use meteorite that I am expected to wash down the drain.

I have part of a meteorite in a necklace. A lot of them land in Africa and are then sold. Ultimately they’re dirt, so I understand that this scrub is just a gimmick. Meteorites aren’t bad for your skin, I guess. We aren’t robbing them from museums. The ones being sold to be made into scrubs aren’t scientifically interesting. There’s no real reason why this is so upsetting to me other than I really value outer space, so treating it like it’s disposable hurts my soul. I wasn’t going to use it at all. I was just going to rant here.

Then I got this email:
"Hi April, We are reaching out because your February Glam Bag contains the BLAQ Meteor Shower Scrub. We've heard from a few members who already tried their sample that it may be difficult to wash off. We wanted to reach out to all ipsters who received this item and recommend you apply the body scrub on a small area of your skin first before using it in the shower. If you find the scrub difficult to remove, there are a couple of solutioins for removing excess residue the scrub may leave on your skin. 1. Rub an oil (we like coconut oil!) or any oil based cleanser in a circular motion and rinse off with warm water, or 2. Apply any soap (body wash, hand soap) to the area, rub in a circular motion, and rinse off with warm water. If you have any questions, ipsyCare will be happy to help you.

Ipsy sent out a product so bad that they had to send an email explaining how to wash it off! You bet I’m using it now.

I decided to rub down one of my legs. I figured if it was nice, awesome. I have some ingrown hairs and could use some exfoliation. If I stain my leg black..pants are an easy way to avoid questions.

Blaq meteor scrub pre-rinsing. My leg is very gray.

It wasn’t very pleasant to rub on. It has a weird earthy smell that I’m not into, and the texture is hard to spread. I like a higher oil content in my scrubs. It also felt pretty harsh. My go to scrub is some white sugar dumped in whatever oil I have in the kitchen.

Buying scrubs is kind of dumb. Yeah, it’s fun as a luxury item. You guys know you can make your own really easily, right? Okay. Good.

Anyway. I decided to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and just rinse it off.
Blaq meteor scrub post-rinsing. My leg is gray and patchy, despite evenly rinsing it off.

I was still gray and patchy. Okay, so using a loofah should scrape it off, right?
Blaq meteor scrub post scrubbing. Most the gray has come off, but a small amount remains. The instructions from the company specifically say not to scrub it off.

That mostly got it. The irritation (that probably only I can see) is from shaving a few days ago, not the scrub. I look slightly gray tinged and dirty, instead of incandescent and shimmering.

Are we surprised? I’m throwing the rest of it out.

Did anyone else try it? I heard that some people had issues with irritation and allergic reactions, so be careful if you do.

Sand & Sky Brilliant Skin Pink Clay Mask

I received this mask in my February ipsy bag. The first I noticed was that instead of instructions or an ingredients list, there is a Vitamin A warning.

Front of the sample Sand & Sky pink clay mask. It says that it detoxifies and brightens.The warning on the back of the Sand & Sky pink clay sample reads "This product contains Vitamin A. Use with caution if also taking dietary supplements or using other products containing Vitamin A."

The warning isn’t super useful. I’ll spare you the google rabbit hole: Vitamin A is retinol. Retinol sensitizes your skin to the sun. I would recommend using this mask at night and wearing sunscreen afterwards. There’s a small risk of excessive Vitamin A intake if you’re pregnant. I should not be your main source of advice if you’re pregnant.

The second thing I noticed was that this was the absolute stingiest sample I have ever received. They should have sent a foil packet. This tube contains enough product for one very thin application. One.

It’s not very pink, either. They cut the pink clay with bentonite. That doesn’t sound sexy, but bentonite is made from volcanic ash. Where’s my pastel metal volcano advertising? Missed opportunity.

Image of the Sand & Sky pink clay mask on my skin. It is the slightest tint of pink before it dries.

True to ipsy fashion, this mask burns like a mother as it dries. It didn’t break me out or make my skin red, though. My skin even felt SUPER smooth and soft after. It was nice. It made me forget that this smelled vaguely like a hospital.

So, I looked up purchasing it and —

Screenshot from the Sand & Sky website. One tub of the mask is $49.00.

The website looks like a marketing scam. If you changed all of the pink to yellow, it would be an ebook money grab targeting old people.

Guys. Don’t pay $50 for a product that doesn’t tell you to wear sunscreen with it.

While we’re at it, calm down with the “not tested on animals” hype. Do you know why they don’t test their product on animals? Because everything in it has already been extensively tested on animals. There’s nothing innovative or new going on here. It’s not a commitment to animal welfare. They aren’t testing because they don’t have to and it’s easier to not do it. Everything you use that is “cruelty-free” is built on years of animal testing. That’s a low bar for changing the world. I’ll be impressed when we’re pioneering biodegradable packaging and cutting down on water used in production. If a company isn’t doing that, I don’t care.

I’m mostly just mad that it’s $50. That’s obscene.

What’s the most expensive dirt that you’ve ever rubbed on your face? This is mine.

March 2018 Ipsy Bag

The situation: You give ipsy $10 a month. Ipsy sends you a “curated” bag of makeup samples. Mostly I hate it.

This month seems genuinely good? I don’t understand. My whole thing is that I’m locked into a year long subscription and everyone thinks it’s fun to watch me suffer.

This month’s theme is “create”. I’m not going to color the bag, but I have no snark for it.
I’m so suspicious.

What’s in my bag
Image of the March 2018 ipsy bag and contents. I've done a flat lay on my messy watercolor palette to keep with the theme. This month's bag is a black and white drawing of women. They sent two markers so I could color it in. I didn't.

And the swatches. Top to bottom: City Color cream highlighter (finger swatched), City Color powder highlighter (finger swatched), Stud lip pencil, and then the City Color powder highlighter brush swatched with the fan brush they sent me. You can see it if you squint.

ROYAL & LANGNICKEL Prismatic Ombre Fan Brush

I was unenthusiastic about this originally. I like my highlighter heavy handed and think the bright colors make this brush look cheap. HOWEVER, ipsy sent me highlighter that is basically bronzer when applied with anything else that I own. This brush lets me subtly apply the sparkles without so much of the pigment. You win, ipsy.

Purchase or pass: I’m probably never going to buy a makeup brush with the rate that subscription boxes send them out, lets be honest.

CONTOUR COSMETICS Lip Kit Pencil in Stud
We can all rest easy. I think this is awful. Crumbly, applies patchy, and rubbed off as soon as I pursed my lips. The tip immediately broke off when I tried to use it. It would be asking too much of ipsy to have them send me a usable lip color product. Balance is restored to the universe.

Purchase or pass: Direct to trash. I have two lip liners that I like all ready, I don’t need to settle for this one.

GLOSSIER Balm Dotcom in Original
Ipsy sent me something that I was planning on buying! It’s lip balm. I don’t know what other description you want from me.

Purchase or pass: It’s basically lanolin and Vaseline. It’s not so overpriced that I wont order it from their website at least once. Do you guys recommend anything else from Glossier? I’ll be trying Boy Brow at some point.

CITY COLOR COSMETICS Glow Duo
Image of the City Color Glow Duo highlighter kit. The left side is a light shimmery cream, while the right is a bronzey powder.
I think this is my third month in a row getting something from City Color. Ipsy needs to lay off of them and highlighter. I can only glow so much. BUT, let’s be honest, I’m going to use it.

Purchase or pass: Pass. I’ll use it until it dies, but the cream side dries a little flaky. It’s not nearly as good as Watts Up or the highlighter in the Maybelline Master Camo palette. The powder side sits on my skin better but is so dark that I can only use a little at a time.

MEG COSMETICS Good Night PM Mask
I’m training them to mail me sheet masks and it is GLORIOUS. I did google the fancy plant they’re bragging that this is made of, camellia sinensis. It’s fucking tea. Drop the pretentiousness.

Purchase or pass: You guys know by now that this will be getting it’s own post, right? Stay tuned to see if it burns my skin off or is normal. There is no in between.

I’m only trashing one thing this month and nothing emotionally traumatized me! Do you think ipsy is turning things around? Or do they realize that we’re nearing the end of my subscription and just want me to renew?

 

February 2018 Ipsy Bag

The premise: You give ipsy $10 a month. They send you a somewhat curated bag of makeup. I paid for a year up front and either a) the service is complete trash, or b) they figured they already had my money for a year and they are sending me the stuff no one else wants.

Oh boy, we have some shit to unpack here.

First, this month’s theme is “unzipped”. Because body positivity = about sex. Also body positivity is for EVERYONE that is conventionally attractive and not lumpy. There’s an article titled “Self-Love Starts Here: See Why *Everyone* (Including You) Deserves to Feel Sexy”. I can’t be bothered to click on it, but I feel like they’re negging me. EVEN I DESERVE TO FEEL SEXY.

Let’s see how they’re going to make me feel sexy this month.

What’s in my bag
Image of the February 2018 ipsy bag and contents. The bag itself is a light, light pink with a black lace trim.

My only complaint about the bag (other than I would never use it) is that it is described as “blushing pink”. Gross. I am pink with rage or not pink at all.

I traded in points for the eye mask. That will get judged separately later, because it was a choice that I made, rather than something ipsy subjected me to.

Swatches from top to bottom: Seraphine blush, Marsk shadow straight, Marsk shadow applied wet. Left photo is my ungodly bright bathroom. Right is with flash.

SERAPHINE BOTANICALS Lychee + Gold

I actually love peach blushes. I’m so pale that more true pinks make me look like I’m dying of heat stroke. Even this one is a bit much. I am a ghost. Solid job, though, ipsy.

Purchase or pass: It’s $14 and doesn’t have any weird ingredients aside from random fruit extracts. The only reason I’m hesitant is that all of the products say that they’re specially formulated to flatter all skin tones, but the half-assed clicking I did only revealed swatches on a girl as pale as me.

SAND & SKY Brilliant Skin Pink Clay Mask
I am 100% sure that ipsy reads my blog and is trolling me after I yelled about rubbing sand on my face last month. I’ll concede that I think clay masks are okay if you otherwise moisturize your skin well, so I’ll give this a try.

Purchase or pass: A jar of this is $50 and the website looks like a millennial marketing scam.

MARSK Loose Eyeshadow in Foiled Again
This is much better than the last metallic eye shadow they sent me! I wore it (with primer) and it stayed all day without creasing or shedding too much glitter. I haven’t tried a wet application yet.

Purchase or pass: I will never need to wear this much glitter.

BLAQ Meteor Shower
This is the most distressing thing that ipsy has ever sent me. We don’t have the space (lol) here. You will hear about this later.

Purchase or pass: Most. Distressing. Thing.

LUXIE BEAUTY Blending and Shading Eye Brush 249
It’s a brush. Neat.

Purchase or pass: I already own this.

If they had sent anything other than the meteors that I am supposed to throw away, I think I’d be okay with this bag. Weird.

Tell me the most traumatizing thing that ipsy has ever sent you in the comments.

Dermelect Microfacial Exfoliating Masque

Ipsy seems to have caught on to the fact that I’m into face masks. They sent me this one in my January bag. Normally I would do some research before buying and using a product, but I already have it, so on my face it goes.

The back of the tube says that the “MULTI-BRIGHTENING COMPLEX INSTANTLY RESTORES DULL, LACKLUSTER LOOKING SKIN TO LUMINOUS AND RADIANT!” Yes, the tube is shouting at me.

Here is my dull, lackluster skin:
A selfie of my bare face. I've got my hand on my chin and it's kinda cute. My skin looks perfectly fine.

Let’s see what miracles this masque can do for my face.
I dampened my skin, massaged and waited.

My face with the Dermelect Microfacial Exfoliating Masque applied. I don't look entirely pleased.
It was grittier than I expected. The ingredients listed on the tube are THD ascorbate (vitamin C, what is presumably ~brightening my skin~), kaolin (clay that sucks up oil), and coconut oil (the 12 minute wait is because we’re moisturizing here).

So what’s the grit? I had immediately thrown out the box this came in, so I had to pull the ingredients from ipsy’s website.

Water (Aqua), Kaolin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol,

Pumice

, PEG-40 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide,Lactic Acid, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Salicylic Acid , Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol,Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Limon Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Fruit Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Citral.

It’s more pumice than coconut oil. It’s not even a sugar scrub, which I rationalize as being “okay physical exfoliation” because the sugar eventually dissolves. It’s sand-based exfoliation. Baby rocks.

Did I scrape my skin off? Am I more radiant?
A shot of my face after Dermelect Microfacial Exfoliating Masque. It might look a little more radiant, but you can also see that my hair is damp. Water does that.

Nah, I’m okay. I’m a little less shiny and had to moisturize despite ipsy insisting it didn’t cause “uncomfy dryness”. I’ll use the tube, but do feel the need to shout into the internet void:

KEEP IT OUT OF YOUR EYES AND DON’T SCRUB TOO HARD.

Literal sand.